Babysitting can be an under-rated service but it shouldn’t be. It is accessible to most students and parents are generally appreciative. Parents want to be sure they have the best caregiver for their children and if you build yourself a reputation for excellent service you can build a good client base and enough a decent amount of money. So what are the qualities that will make you the best babysitter in your neighborhood?
One of the key qualities of a great babysitter is to exude heaps of positive energy, both towards the children and towards the parents who are hiring you. There is a reason why all of the most successful children’s TV presenters are bubbly and full of life - it’s because children naturally gravitate towards that kind of energy and while they are having a good time, the parents will see that you are making a real effort and will always put you on top of their list.
A good babysitter should always be proactive in their communication with the kids they are looking after, asking them about their days at school, their friends, their hobbies etc. The worst thing you can do is sit them in front of the TV and call your friends on the house phone like all those terrible babysitters in the movies. Show interest in your charges and they will love being treated like real people.
When you are being paid to provide a precious service of care, the first and most important thing you need to do is be on time. You have been asked to babysit because the parents obviously have somewhere to be, so don’t start off on the wrong foot by making them late for their engagement. In my experience, it always helps to be a little bit early so you can make a meaningful connection with the adults of the house before they have to leave.
Though it not an absolute necessity for a neighborhood babysitter to have first aid skills, showing that you are competent in potentially dangerous situations will be a big plus for you if there are a few different girls on the block who are offering their services. Parents will feel a lot safer leaving their kids with somebody who can perform basic medical practices, so knowing first aid will definitely set you apart from the rest.
Make the effort to go prepared to a house, perhaps with a few games to play or a DVD to watch with the kids. This degree of forethought helps the parents to see that you are not just turning up to make some money, but that you also care about the kids having a fun and rewarding time during your hours together. If you want to score even more brownie points, then perhaps ask the parents in advance what kind of things the kids are in to.
If you turn up to the house in a boob tube and mini skirt, the parents are going to think that your boyfriend will be round the second they have left. Casual is key when it comes to looking after kids. You are probably going to be running around with them and there is a high chance that certain messes are going to be made, so a simple shirt and jeans combo is really all that you need.
If you have nothing to hide, then give prospective hiring parents a chance to look at your Facebook profile so they can get to know a little bit about the person who is going to be in sole charge of their children. Being able to have a quick peek at your page will also get rid of some of those awkward first meeting moments that can sometimes happen; it just puts everyone at more ease.
Being a great babysitter shouldn’t be hard – especially if you like children. Parents also come in handy to write testimonials or references when you’re applying for jobs.
Let’s share some horror stories and adventures in babysitting!
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